Rethink Impossible with Colin O’Brady


– Hey everybody, what’s up, it’s Chase. Welcome to an episode of the show. You guys know this show. This is where I sit
down with amazing humans and I do everything I
can to unpack their brain with the goal of helping
you live your dreams in career, in hobby, and in life. My guest today is going to
blow your brain wide open. He’s one of the top
adventurers in the world. He is a speaker across
lots of different genre and he is the new, I guess, New York Times Bestselling
Author of the book, “The Impossible First”. My guest today is the Colin O’Brady. Welcome to the show bud. – Thanks for having me here. (upbeat music) (audience applause) – [Chase] They love you! – Great to be here man. – Yes, we made it happen. Thanks India for connecting us. Sarah, our friends that made this happen. Very happy to have you on the show. And congrats on the book. – Thanks man, yeah. – Started hitting some lists. – Just came out two weeks ago. Just hit the New York
Times Bestsellers List. Proud moment, you know. My first book, but I
poured my heart and soul into writing it. So yeah it’s nice to
have it out in the world. – Amazing, amazing. Well we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, cause we just met 15 minutes ago when you walked into the door here. I’m familiar with you and your
work and that our audience is primarily creators and entrepreneurs and every creation and
every business that we build is an adventure. And so the parallels between
the life that you lead literally adventuring all over the planet doing some crazy things
that we will get into, and the entrepreneurial
or the creative journey that we all go on on the day to day basis. There’s no mistaking, there’s
a lot of similarities there. So I’m gonna want to unpack that. But we’re gonna also keep
relating the stuff back to really tactical and actionable
stuff for our audience. But before we do this, let’s
go back to young Colin. Were you always, was it
curiosity that drove you? Was it in your blood? Was it in your veins? Or what there some event
that made you want to seek to see the rest of the world? – Yeah, you know it’s
been an interesting path. Obviously I guess what I’m
most known for in the world is these world record breaking adventures and being the first
person to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported and things like that. But certainly in my early life, I dared to dream greatly I suppose, aided by my parents and
influenced in that way, but I wasn’t really
coming from a background that was an obvious path. I grew up in Portland, Oregon. I was actually born just an
hour south of here in Olympia. – [Chase] Oh nice. – My parents are big hippies, went to Evergreen State College. I was born at home on a
futon with a group of hippies hanging out at my parents’ house at this commune basically. My mom playing Bob Marley
Redemption Song on repeat. – Wow, that was her giving birth song? – Exactly, her giving birth song. So you know, not the most
traditional upbringing. But certainly I grew up
in the Pacific Northwest. My parents moved from Olympia to Portland and we didn’t have a lot of
money, they were young parents but they were always like,
the things we could do for free honestly were enjoy the outdoors. And so we’d go camping and we’d go hiking and mountain biking and things like that. But also with this
undercurrent of my mother always saying to me whatever
you dream of you can create. Whatever you wanna be in this world, and I think a lot of
what’s happened in my life, and there’s some elements
I’m sure were unpacked, but have been from just
that inspiration from being a kid and just
being wrapped up in around loving positivity. My parents divorced
when I was pretty young, but they still brought our family together in what they call ohana, the
Hawaiian word for family, the chosen family so we
still have family events where both my mother and
father and step parents and step siblings are all there, breaking bread around a table. So I think that underlying
positivity and love played a big role. – [Chase] Wow, all right,
so how does one go from camping with their parents to forging out on their own
and starting to take risks. Was it as soon as you
had time on your own, you started distancing
yourself from the establishment and like, most kids going
to the movies on the weekend and you’re doing the Pacific Crest Trail– – No, it wasn’t so much that. I mean actually I think
the biggest, obvious break for me was, so I
graduated from college in 2006. I was a swimmer in college,
I went to Yale University and most of my friends
had economics degrees. It’s 2006, Wall Street’s crushing. I grew up with barely any money. Actually every summer I’d
go home and paint houses with my buddy. Buy every summer I’d be painting houses, my buddies would be
getting these internships on Wall Street and get this and I was just kind of
looking at that life, at least for me and that’s not judging
other people’s houses, I don’t know, that’s a lot of money, but I’m in a desk, I’m in an
office, I’m in a big city. That just doesn’t speak to my heart. And people were like, you’re crazy it’s such a good
opportunity and I was like, I wanna travel, I wanna see the world. So every summer I went
and saved up enough money, maybe it’s like a thousand
or two thousand bucks every single summer throughout
the end of high school and college, put it in this back account, going when I graduate from
college I wanna travel and see the world. So, 2006 happened, all
my buddies from college go off and get these Wall Street jobs and I’ve got ten grand
to my name and I take a backpack and a surf board
and buy a one-way ticket to travel around the world by myself. And it was an incredible
experience all told. I was living in youth hostels, I was hitchhiking around New
Zealand, I had a surfboard. I actually on that trip met– – It’s hard to hitchhike with a surfboard. – Yes, it is actually,
but you New Zealand people are pretty friendly. – For sure, they are very friendly. – There’s only a few
places you could do that. – I don’t really get in half the cars. – I met my now wife on that trip, it was almost 13 years ago. I met her on a beach in Fiji. Jenna, I’m sure we’ll talk more about her cause it’s a huge part of
our business and our life. Unfortunately during that
same trip, tragedy befell me. I was severely burned
in a fire in Thailand. And the book,
– Yeah it chronicles is – the subtitle of the book is From Fire to Ice and
this was really a big, obviously life changing
moment for me of tragedy. I was a silly 22 year old kid on a beach in a party in Thailand and I was jumping a flaming jump rope. In Thailand that’s somewhat common, it’s not like I invented that concept, but the rope wrapped around
my legs and lit my body completely on fire to my neck. And survival mode kicked in
and jumped into the ocean to extinguish the flames,
but not before about 25% of my body was severely burned. And not just the physical trauma, but I’m in the middle
of nowhere in Thailand, there’s a rural hospital,
it’s like a shack. There’s a cat running
around my bed in this makeshift ICU and I went
into these surgeries. The doctors walked in after
a few days and they’re like, look, you’ll probably
never walk again normally. You’re really badly injured, sorry. And it was this moment of deep,
obviously physical trauma, but the emotional trauma
of basically being the way you pictured your life being, I’d identified as being an
athlete most of my life, and it was like you’re not that anymore. So think of your next dream, sorry. And my mother came over
to my hospital room, four or five days in, she arrived and, I don’t know if you have kids or not, I don’t have kids myself,
but I hope to soon one day. And I can only imagine what
it’s like being a mother and seeing your kid in
this place, so helpless, this dark dingy hospital, all this. And I know now she was crying and pleading with the doctors for good news. But she never showed me that fear. Instead she came into my
hospital room every single with this big smile on her
face, this air or positivity, and daring me to dream about the future. And I think that does connect
back to entrepreneurship and creativity and actually my mother is an entrepreneur herself and there’s a lot of those values. In fact in the book, we’ll
talk about the adventures, but there’s actually an
entire chapter in the book which we call from white board to reality. Which is this concept
that was instilled with me from my mother which is, she goes, in this
hospital moment, she goes Colin, your life’s not over. You’re 22 years old. Yes you’re in a real bad spot right now, but close your eyes, what do
you wanna be in the future. It can be anything. What do you wanna do? – This is in the hospital?
– This is in the hospital. And I’m like mom, are you, I mean come on. I’m hanging on for dear
like here, literally. She’s like no, no, no,
tell me, set a goal. And so I closed my
eyes, and in that moment I visualized myself, probably
cause I’ve thought of myself as an athlete throughout my entire life, I pictured myself crossing the
finish line of a triathlon, which is not something I’d ever done. Collegiate swimmer, but never
biked or run competitively, nothing like that. So I opened my eyes and said mom, I wanna one day race a triathlon. And she could’ve easily been like, yeah I said set a goal, but
like the legs and diagnose, maybe something else. And she was like all right, let’s do it, let’s do it. The next day she gets a Thai doctor, like you have this photo
of this Thai doctor who was kind of shaking his
head and I’ve got these weights, he hands me these 10 pound weights. I’m like doc I’m training for a triathlon, I need some weights. My legs are bandaged from the waist down, but I’m training, in my mind I’m like I’m gonna do this one day or whatever. And my mother, several
months in the Thai hospital, flew back to Portland, Oregon, I’m carried on and off the
plane, I’m in a wheelchair. Through this process of her
teaching me how to walk. Literally I put one chair in front of me, taking my very first step. The next day she moved
the chair five steps away. I take five steps the next day. And this entire process,
all the while imagining that bigger goal which
was finishing a triathlon. Won’t get too bogged down here,
but fast forward 18 months, I finally did need to get a real job, at least I thought I needed to get out of my parents basement. Took a job in finance in Chicago in 2008 which is still a crazy
time to get a finance job. – Yeah, I was gonna say
that timing is ominous. Ominous timing. – And I signed up for
the Chicago Triathlon. And I end up, 18 months
after being burned, being told I would never walk again, I compete in the triathlon. I finished the race, which was my goal, and to my complete and utter surprise, I haven’t just finished the race, but I actually won the
entire Chicago Triathlon. Beating four or five
thousand other participants on the day, and it was this moment, now your initial question
was about my childhood or which forged this mindset,
this creativity within me and it was this moment where I didn’t just pat myself on the back, well I guess I’m just a great athlete. It was the opposite of that. It was going back to the
Thai hospital in my mind and wondering what would’ve
happened had my mom not forced me to look towards the future and set this measurable goal? Like where would life’s
outcomes have taken me. And it was in the moment that I realized, not myself, I’m not some
superhuman freak athlete. We all inside of us have these reservoirs of untapped potential to
achieve extraordinary things, particularly when we can shift our mindset and shift them towards
these positive outcomes. And then dig into the
hard work of actually executing on them. And so that has definitely
been a blueprint for the things that I’ve done. That was 12 years ago and
the other world records and things that I’ve done, which is now I call it from white board to reality, it wasn’t in my mind that, but it was what’s the massive goal, write it down as big as you possibly can and then hang it on the wall so you can think about that massive goal, that entrepreneurial
success, the huge exit, or whatever it is driving you, but when go okay, what can I do today? The chair, I can take the one step from my wheelchair to
the chair in front of me. What can I do the next day. And stacking those bricks. – So, you said a handful
of things I wanna unpack and put a pin in and revisit over the next five minutes here. The first of which is mindset. Now, your mom walks in
and there’s one thing, your mom’s mindset and
there’s another thing, which is your mindset. And also, former athlete, went to college on a soccer scholarship. I identify as an athlete. I’ve also had some
injuries where they said you’re not gonna recover. So, I wanna understand your psychology, your own psychology, your
own mindset in that moment. You got mom coming in all bubbly. What was your true state there? Fear, anxious, excitement– – When I think about that moment, it’s a precipice moment or a sliding doors moment where the physical
trauma is gonna be there, cause I’ve literally burned
off all the skin on my legs. There’s some photos inside the book. I didn’t put the most, most graphic cause there’s a couple
where you’re like damn, okay you’re very hurt. So that’s there, but
there’s a piece of that I probably wasn’t quite
this place in my mind, but that this too shall pass. Like I recover in some regard. I’m not always gonna be in
this much physical pain. But the lasting impact, and
that’s the precipice moment, of who am I if I can’t
run or walk or, who am I? And that’s that sort of
teetering on the brink of this emotional trauma
which is ultimately a lot longer lasting
if you allow it to be. And that’s where the mindset came in. And my mother came in
and in a lot of ways, facilitated me overriding
that fear, that doubt. Cause that was very much there, very much bubbling up inside of myself. And I’m a big believer
that we are the stories that we tell ourselves and
we get to choose the moments that are inside of our mind
and inside of our brain. And again, at the time I’m 22 years old and I’ve had a lot more
experience that I’ve reinforced this since then, but it’s the beginning
of this understanding of you know what, I have a choice. I have a choice in this moment to actually program my mind for tomorrow. I can’t go back and not
jump the flaming jump rope. Obviously if I could, I would switch that. But in this moment, I am
right here, right now. I get to decide what happens
today, what happens tomorrow, what happens the next day. I’m not gonna try and pretend
like just a switch flipped and I’m no problems whatsoever. It was a traumatic year,
but under the guise, or my mom leading me down the
trail towards the positivity and that mindset shift towards
that versus the opposite which is, the doctor said
I’m never gonna walk again. That’s my new reality. Let me completely adjust to that. Depression, fatigue, exhaustion and then what are the
compounding ripple effects of that negative mindset? – What were some specific, cause just saying I changed my mindset, it’s less relatable
until you tell me a story or what you actually did. Did you visualize yourself
crossing that finish line. You talked figuratively, conceptually about putting your big
hairy audacious goal on a white board and then
looking at it every day. Tell me how did you get
from that dark hospital bed in Thailand with your mom cheerleading, but you have to be clear, you have to do a lot of work beyond the cheerleading that your mom did for you. So what did it look like on, like were you journaling,
and visualizing, praying? I don’t know what you did, because there’s a lot of
people right now listening that are in a place that they
didn’t expect themselves to be for whatever reason,
economic, social, personal, health, otherwise, and we all wanna crawl out of the hole when we find ourselves there. Give us some tactics on what you did. – So the process for me an
you can different apply it to the burn accident
and recovery from that, but you can also apply
it to the other things that I’ve built and created in my life. And like I said there’s
a chapter in this book that’s really about creativity
and entrepreneurship as I’ve gone on a built these
other world record-break projects which my wife,
they’ve all started with a massive golden idea, and
most of them have also started from a place of we have no
idea what the hell we’re doing. So when we set our first,
huge massive world record goal project, it was like, I wanna see if I can set the world record for climbing the seven summits, so it’s the tallest mountain
on each of the seven continents going to North and South
Pole faster than anyone, that’s called the Explorers Grand Slam. Great, great idea. And we wanna start a
non-profit cause we wanna have a bunch of impact with schools and kids and all this kind of stuff. Oh god, that’s great. We had just gotten engaged at the time so we’re just riding highs. It’s 2014, we’re like yeah we’re
gonna have these big ideas. This is what our life’s gonna be together and all this kind of stuff. We get back home and we’re like, okay, so we have literally no money, and we’re in a one-bedroom apartment. We have no money. We have no network. We have two hundred Instagram followers. We have no reason a sponsor
would ever invest in us. We have no idea how to
start a 501c3 non-profit. There was a moment of like,
we’re gonna do this big thing and the reality we get home and we’re like yeah, but come on what
are we actually gonna do? It’s that moment you
describe with other people going they are in a
moment right now of going sure I have a big goal, but how the hell are you
actually gonna do that. – What’s my first step,
second step, eighth step. – And so for us, in that
moment, it was this moment of this is the moment where
creativity or innovation died. It’s like, you have that
great idea, but you’re like, maybe it’s not me. I can read about the guy
or look up on Instagram the guy who actually did the thing, but I’m not that guy or that girl. And we’re like well we have no
idea how we’re gonna do this and it’s gonna cost
half a million dollars. And we have like ten grand
saved up or something like that. So we’re obviously not
writing the check ourself. We’re like, but you know what we do, we have an internet connection, Google, this is a true story. One of the first things we did, we wake up in the morning
and we write Google, what is the difference
between marketing and PR? That was our first question to Google. Now fast forward to today, my
project crossing Antarctica, had two billion media impressions. It was the most viewed
live expedition ever. I was also, a year after, I was the first person
to Snapchat from Everest and that had 22 million views on social. So what happened between Jenna and I Googling that shit and
that happening which was, and what it also boiled down to is a daily practice is
waking up and being like, I have no idea how we’re gonna do this. We called five people who
we thought might know. A friend of somebody. Then we called five more people. In the book, a year down the path, we still were 100s of thousands of dollars short of this goal, but we
woke up every single day, ferociously being like, how
are we gonna build this, how are we gonna create this? Who can we walk to? Oh, we learned something else about how to get our non-profit
certification through this, okay that’s one more
egg, drop in the bucket. Okay, I’ll tell a story from the book, which I think is relevant to
the entrepreneurs audience which is, we asked hundreds,
I don’t know the exact number, could’ve been a thousand
people for help or funding getting our project and
idea off the ground. We’re gonna set this world record project but the larger idea is
to build a media campaign around it that has a
ripple effect of positivity with this non-profit impact with kids. And we were like, okay
that’s kind of interesting, but what are you gonna do
for me what do you show? Literally hundreds of people said, no, no, I mean I’ve heard no so many times. It’d be the same thing
pitching Angel money for your tech app or whatever that is. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. And each one of those Nos, I got of course more and more and more
and more discouraged. However, what I also got
was I practiced my pitch. Every single time I got no, it was one more rep of being like, no but tell me about your idea. You know it started off probably
this 10-minute rambling, well there’s these mountains
and there’s this this, and like impasse whatever
and you get better polish, more polish, more polish. And I tell this story in the book on this how did Jenna and
I build and create this cause some people said, well it’s great, you’ve walked across Antarctica, and you’ve climbed Mount Everest and you’ve done these things, but that all takes a ton of money. I’m like look, we did
not do this with money. We did this because the perseverance that you saw on the
mountains and the climbing and the 10 world records
I have, or whatever actually before any world records, the perseverance was
actually getting this idea off of the ground. And so a buddy of mine, we’re
raised a piece of the money but we’re still hundreds of
thousands of dollars short. And I’ve started to take interviews and I’ve leaving in six weeks. And Jenna looks over at me and so there’s nine expeditions of this explorer’s grand slam and she goes we’re gonna run out of money after the first two expeditions. But you’ve already told
people that you’re doing this. And I’ve started speaking at schools cause we actually started the non-profit part of what we were doing. But we’re still, we’re gonna find a way. We’re gonna figure it out. A buddy of mine, he says to me, he goes, hey Colin, I want you to
meet a friend of mine, she set a world record, and
I just think it’d be cool for you to meet someone
who has a world record cause you’re trying to set
your first world record. And come to this spin class at
this local gym by our house. And I was like, bro a spin class? I’m a professional athlete, am I gonna go to a group fitness class on a Sunday. And he’s like, seriously man come with me. First of all, it’s actually
a pretty legit workout. And like, just come. So I was like okay fine, kind of thought I was a little too cool to be in a spin class. Turns out, by the way, I
freaking love spin now. It’s a legit workout. I did my first Soul Cycle
class yesterday, super fun. But I get in the class, he
introduces me and he goes, hey, this is my friend Kathy. Woman, probably 20 years older than me, but she’s super fit, she’s already cranking on the spin bike. She’s super strong and fit and she’s like oh hey, nice to meet you. He’s like yeah you know
she had the world record for the five K back in
the 80s or some time frame when she was in college. And I was like, oh damn a legit runner. I was like, super cool to meet you. – Five K’s a hard
distance to run that fast. The 400, the 800, the five
K, those are so brutal. – I’m like, that’s cool, legit. So now I’m kind a like
I’m in this spin class and I’m like damn, you’re
bad ass or whatever. And my buddy Angelo says,
tell her what you’re doing. And so I’ve gotten No a
thousand times at this point. So I’ve just got this, I’m not pitching, I’m just a person in the spin class. And so I just gave her my 30 second pitch. Not pitch but it’s just the story, this is is what I’m doing. Here it is, right. Retrospectively, it was polished
because of all the failures but I wasn’t thinking that at the time. I told any person over beers or a coffee or a random networking
event, or this story. She’s like oh that’s cool,
that’s amazing, great. Boom, spin instructor walks
in, starts the spin class. We start spinning. It’s 90 minutes of spin, I get my sweat on and I’m starting to think,
hey spins kinda cool, but random, cool to meet
this woman, pretty inspiring. Walking out of the class, hey
Kathy really nice to meet you. She’s like no, no, no come here real quick My husband’s actually
in this class as well. Hey, tell him what you’re doing. And I was like, oh okay and I just– – Pitch number 1,080. – Yeah, here we go again. Here it is, so I’m doing this
thing, climb these mountains. My wife an I started this non-profit, where I’m taking kids in
this way, blah, blah, blah. And he’s like wow, that’s really cool. Are you looking for sponsors? I’m like, yeah. He’s like I actually think
the company I work with could help you out. I’m like, of course antenna’s up right? And I’m like great, do you have
a business card or whatever. And he’s like, yeah. Mark Parker, CEO Nike. (laughs) I’m like oh, the company you
work at might be able to help? And so, the essence of
that story of course is we failed a thousand times. But A, you never know
who you’re talking to, in which case is like, I
was just as passionately talking about my idea because I love it, not because, I had no
idea I was talking to a Fortune 10 CEO, but I was also talking to
the woman in the spin class, I was also talking to the
barista at the coffee shop, I was also talking to
the person on the street because I freaking was
so excited about what we were trying to do. – There’s no replacement
for passion and energy. You just exude that stuff. It just runs out of your pores. – Like I wanna do this. – People can smell it too. – And then the second piece
of that is we kept going. One of my favorite allegories, have you ever heard of
the book The Alchemist? – Of course.
– Yeah, one of my all time favorites and I quoted in the book as well, and it says we often die of thirst
when crossing the desert, just a few moments before seeing the palm trees on the horizon. I use the analogy in the book
when I almost wanted to quit this 54 day solo thousand
mile journey across Antarctica pulling a 375 pound sled. But the entrepreneurs
tale is just the same. I was like, dude, I’m not
going to a stupid spin class. Come on, I’m like this, I’m so stressed. My project’s not gonna work. I’ve been working on it for however long and it’s just gonna fail
and all this kind of stuff. Actually, one last
thing, one last meeting, one last chance serendipitous encounter stacked on top of your thousand failures, that lead to you being
polished and passionate in the right moment that you need to be brings to life that, and of course there’s
a number of our things have happened since then,
but you just never know. – And I love that. To me that is the part
of loving the process and loving what you’re talking
about, what you’re doing rather than just you want
the end goal of being able to ring the bell of I
did the seven summits, I crossed the Antarctic, I did
whatever your big dream is. To me that getting other
people excited about what it is that you’re doing. I call it building
community around our ideas and that’s how wickedly underrated that is because if you’ve got your own dream in your parent’s basement, how
likely are you to achieve it? Nothing happens in a vacuum,
nothing happens solo. You walked a thousand miles solo, or more than that, just under? But, how many people were
a part of the community that made it possible? – And the truth is, I always say this, it’s a shame that it’s just my name on the cover of the book. And my publisher actually the other day, book published two weeks ago. I’m in New York, kind of
like cheers, books published. My editor pulls me aside and he goes, I publish a lot of books
Colin and I gotta say you might have the record for
the longest Acknowledgements that anyone’s ever written in
a book that I’ve published. Kind of ribbing me and joking around. I was like, that’s because
the irony of this story is that you think this story is about a man walking by himself
932 miles across Antarctica, something no one in history
had ever accomplished before, and the truth of the story, and what the truth in
in the pages as well as the truth in the acknowledgements is it actually was a success of
a huge community of people, a huge number of mentors,
influences, family members, dreams, failures, successes,
learnings, wisdoms, taken from a large community of people that ultimately led to that moment, and I also like what you said
about enjoying the process or the journey. – Have to. – Not giving up, giving
away the book itself, because of course I want
people to read the book, but I actually end the
book a quarter mile away from finishing the goal. And there’s an epilogue after that, but as a testament to the
point of writing the book, also the point of making
the Antarctica crossing was not to have the moment
when I touch the finish line and I have my hands in the air, like I did it, no one in
history has ever done it. The book is actually about
myself, a relatively young man, learning throughout the
totality of the journey and experiencing the ups and the downs and the hardships and
the fears and the doubts and the euphoria and the
love and the gratitude and all of these things. It’s not about, and see the
crescendo of the book isn’t and then I did it. That would be a flat note at the end of what is actually the essence. – I like that, the essence I think is a really good way of capturing it. So let’s talk a little bit
about the actual adventures. I think a little bit of
background is also helpful. Your injury is substantial. That clearly played a huge role
in setting you up for this. Was there anything else,
before we move forward. Is there anything else, childhood, any part of your
upbringing that contributed to your desire to set these records and to live the life that you are living beyond that experience of the fire? – I mean the other thing is we’ll definitely get into the adventure, but the other thing
that I think is apropos for this conversation is I watched my parents build
a business when I was a kid. So when I was 13 years
old, my parents had worked in the natural foods grocery business for a long time for other people. They were hippie farmers
that ultimately got a job at the local coop, that
ultimately got jobs as clerks in the grocery
store and then ultimately worked their way up into the
management of the grocery store and in 1999, when I was 13 years old, freshman in high school I guess, my parents said hey, we’re
actually gonna take a swing here and start our own grocery store. And it’s a grocery store chain in, mostly in Portland, I
guess it’s spread out now, called New Season’s Market. And they – [Chase] Just had one here in– – Yeah, there’s one in Seattle now. My parents haven’t been involved in it for several years now but, that’s their business and they started it. And what ultimately happened was when I was well out of the house, well after the burn accident,
all this kind of stuff, it was financially successful. They had a successful
business, they’ve sold it, they’ve done well for themselves. It’s a great thing. My childhood had, there was zero impact of that financial success of
their business on my childhood or the way that I was raised. But the impact to me was
actually far greater than that which is, our dinner table conversation, from age 13 to 17, was about
my parents building a business. Not this, I mean sure
it was about business, but actually them being
like we have a dream. Okay, what’s the dream? It’s a mission driven business. Okay, what is a mission-driven business? A mission-driven business
is a for profit business but we believe that we’re
gonna make a community a better place by creating this business. Well, how does that work? Okay, well it’s a grocery store chain. Well we want local farmers and fishers to have a marketplace
to bring their stuff to. And the people that are
working in a grocery store often times, large chain grocery stores don’t have healthcare if
they’re part-time employees, don’t have good benefits,
they’re paid low wages. We’re gonna pay them higher wages, we’re gonna give them healthcare. We’re gonna all these things. Ultimately there’s thousands
of employees in this but that was just their
dream in that moment. So I watched my parents from the dream into the reality phase and not really the reality
into exit phase of their thing. And that creativity,
although I didn’t wanna start a grocery store, I watched
my parents scrape together every last penny on an idea
that they firmly believed in and they talked about
it as a family business. It wasn’t like we’re going to work and we’re not talking about it. It wasn’t like they just
berated me with spreadsheets every night, but as a
kid I was aware of them building something. And incremental successes
and incremental failures along the way and so
that seeped into my blood in my own way, and I’ve
actually a few years ago, I talk about it a little bit in the book. I’m at Burning Man, I’m
sitting there are Burning Man, and I’m looking up at
this amazing piece of art. And myself as an athlete,
I never thought of myself as an artist. I was like, an artist is
someone who can draw super well, or take a really amazing
photograph or something like that. I’m obviously not an
artist, I’m not creative. I’m standing there with
Jenna and we’re looking up at this art installation,
everyone’s playing and dancing and interacting with the piece of art. And I was in that moment and I was like, wait a second, we take ideas of nothing, turn them into something,
but we tell the stories of me going on these adventures
so that we can have this ripple effect of
experience within schools, within corporations, within
anyone following on Instagram, the stories we tell. Wait a second, what we’re doing – Oddly similar. It’s the same thing.
– exactly the same thing. We are artists. And what my parents were building in their entrepreneurial
venture, in its own way, is this creative process, this art. I’m actually getting chills just saying it and that mindset shift for me, to reframe, I’m the last
person, over the last 30 some years to say
you know, I’m a artist, and a couple of years ago I was like, wait a sec, what we are doing is a fair recreative expression of living life. And the other people are
dancing and interacting and playing with it and
then taking from that hopefully creating their one inspiration. I wrote this book, definitely
not so that people can read my book and be like wow,
Colin you’re a true bad ass. You walked Antarctica by yourself. My hope and I call it the impossible first and that’s what we called the
Antarctica project itself. So someone will set this
book down, put it down and be like my impossible first is this. The worst return on investment
for this book for me is when I get a DM from someone who’s like dude you’re awesome. The best return on investment
is when someone goes man, I read that book, it was
gripping, edge of the seat, the story telling was amazing, and this and I’m finally, this thing
I’ve been putting off til tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow,
I put your book down and I’m like, I’m doing that thing today. – Clearly it is, A it’s a page turner, B, it is inspiring
anytime you watch someone live their dream. And you can just feel your energy for the things that you’ve done. And so now I wanna explore
some of those things in particular because
there’s some crazy shit. So, and I also, my background is as an action sports photographer. I don’t know how much you know about that but all the climbing,
ski, snowboard athletes in the world, I worked for all the brands, done all the stuff. And usually in sort of
a storytelling fashion. But I’m just close enough
to a lot of the people in your community to understand and know the hard core aspects of these feats. But the people who actually
do and live those things is such a small, small
narrow group of people. Everest, for example, the seven summits, this project of shall we say piloting a
boat across a very dangerous body of water. A, where do these dreams,
A let’s talk about a couple of these individually and then while you’re talking about some of them, help us understand how
does one come up with this particular challenge? The seven summits is one
that is not new to you. So that’s a little bit more obvious, but you should also include
that for the folks at home who don’t know much about it. – Yeah, so it’s an interesting progression and I won’t stay too long in one place, we can keep the conversation flowing. But the seven summits and
the explorers grand slam is something that’s in the
Zeitgeist of adventure, exploration community
whatever you wanna call that. And so my first big project,
the one that we talked about that I was trying to raise
money for at the very beginning. No background in this. That’s me saying, other
people have done this and I wanna do this thing faster than it’s ever been done before. So I’m not racing anyone side by side. I’m kind of racing history. But I’m repeating what’s been done. So the seven summits,
tallest mountain on each of the seven continents,
that’s an established thing. So I go off that, I’m
successful with that. Then the next project– – [Chase] How did you decide
the order to climb in? – Really based on weather,
just the conditions of the weather and where to slot them in. – What time of year. – Yeah exactly. You have to start in Antarctica cause it’s the Antarctic summer and you can only climb Everest
in the second week of May. And so that dictates a few moving parts, there was a couple things
you could switch around but there wasn’t that much variance. Once you really look
at it, you’re like eh. I climbed Elberus in winter
which is traditionally climbed in the summer, but that one I feel like I can handle in the
winter where it’s like you’re not gonna not make
it in winter on Everest in a project like this. So there’s a few things like that. So, after completing that, then I did another world
record project which was called “The Fifty High Points” which was really the first piece of collaborative
art piece expeditioning. We’re always sharing the story,
so it ends up me doing it, but this is one we allowed
people to participate in. So I climbed the tallest mountain in each of the 50 U.S. States and faster than anyone has ever done it. So 50 mountains, the
tallest in each state, the record before was 42 days. I managed to do it in 21 days. But the bigger–
– [Chase] Wow, half the time. – But the excitement around that was after talking to students and school kids all around the country, I talked
to kids in the east coast, or in Florida or something
like that and they’re like, that’s cool we’re talking about mountains, but first of all, I don’t
even live anywhere near mountains and I don’t wanna go to Nepal or climbing Kilimanjaro
or all this kind of stuff. And I was like, man
there’s amazing outdoors, I don’t care across this entire country. And so I wanted to do this project that exemplified that. And sure enough the tallest
mountain in Florida, and by the way is like a 350 foot hill on the side of the road, so
I had to go tap that hill. But we did this thing we
called the Forrest Gump Effect so on social media, on
my Instagram, we were live tracking where we were an invited anyone to come out. Come to the trail head, hike with us, climb with us meet us on the summit. We had thousands of people
meet us all across the country and touch different parts of the project, climb their home state. Explore part of their state
they’ve never been to, all this kind of stuff. So that was super fun. But then, this was all around
a similar moment in time when I had the epiphany at Burning Man about creativity and art. And what does a true artist want to do. Well in my opinion I guess,
a true artist wants to create something that’s never been done before, rather than repeating a record. In a way that’s never
been done before, but — – It’s your own independent
individual artistry. – Exactly and that’s when my
mind started being curious about not just a world
record, but a world first. Something that had never been done before. And my last two projects,
but with the book itself, it’s about becoming the
first person in history to do this solo crossing of Antarctica. Solo, unsupported, so
unsupported means no resupplies of food or fuel, so I had
to carry everything with me the entire time. So I was dragging what started
out as a 375 pound sled basically packed with food and then fuel for melting snow into water. Several people have tried
it before me over the years. One guy had it 900 miles and died just a hundred miles from
finishing after 71 days. Another really famous
explorer made it 50 some days. They ran out of food and had
to get flown out of there because he was gonna
run out of food before completing the crossing. And it basically was in this question of the reason we called
it the impossible first is people were like
there’s a lot of quotes before I’d try it, like
this crossing’s impossible. The math equation of
how much food, supplies, how much you can actually, cause if you had a thousand pound sled and a ton of food, you’d
never be able to move it the first day. And so it was kind of,
that was the question and we called it The Impossible
First, quite frankly, and to me I think this is a lesson for any entrepreneur, is we
called it The Impossible First cause we thought this might
actually be impossible but is that a reason not to try it? Cause what I’ve learned,
when I set audacious goals, where I’ve stepped so far
outside the comfort zone. Stepping outside your comfort
sone is where you grow. So I fundamentally believed
if I attempt this thing and put my whole heart into it, and I still can’t do it, it’s not just gonna be a net loss like oh that was just
a huge waste of time. I’m gonna learn something in this process. And if I do push beyond that and actually prove it to be possible, even better. Because it can show
others what the boundaries of their own limiting beliefs. And so that was really
where the idea was conceived or that art piece of saying
what has nobody else ever done? And Jenna and I built out this project, trained for it and all
the things we needed to do with the intention of
attempting to do this thing that no one in history
had ever done before. – Some details about that so, I’m super good friends with Mike Horn, I don’t know if you’ve,
you probably know Mike. He’s done a lot of these,
he’s done the pole to pole right now which they just got across the– – He just did that incredible and then through the
darkness to the North Pole. – [Chase] North Pole in the winter. – In the winter. I actually posted about it
in my Instagram yesterday, today, yesterday. I was like, look I’m
getting a lot of praise for the things I’ve done
in the polar regions and all that stuff. If you want to know the guy that just did the most hardcore badass
project of all time. What they just did, him and Borge Ousland, in the winter of the North Pole. I mean it’s– – Like how many days,
56 days with no sunshine and average temperature 70 below. – And I’ve done a much,
much, much smaller expedition to the North Pole, just the
last degree of latitude. Antarctica’s very tough, minus 30 degree ambient temperature. I’m out there alone
all this kind of stuff. But North Pole, it’s crazy
because it’s a floating ocean and even in my short expedition out there, I found it to be incredibly
hard because all the ocean, basically the ice flows
crack into each other. So there’s these pressure
ridges and so you’ve got this heavy sled, but you’re
also taking your skis off and throwing it over, the
ice cracks, you’ve got, my expedition out there,
one of the guys I was with fell through the ice into freezing water. I had to pull him out, but then it’s minus 30 degrees outside. I means it’s a hectic place. Imagine doing that in winter
for two months, like dude. Hats off to those guys. – And that had to do swim’s
and water crossings and– – [Colin] Hard core, it’s all hard core. – Yeah, crazy, crazy hard core. I think Mike is also one of
the guys who did the crossing but with under kite and skis and that’s very different
than what you’ve done. – Yeah, so in distinction,
unfortunately there’s been a small debate where people are like I don’t understand Colin,
you’re claiming a world first but Mike Horn or Borge
Ousland, 25 years ago did a full crossing solo. And they absolutely did and
what they did was remarkable. And like I said, I’m in full deference to their accomplishments. The difference is they
were propelled by kites, which is considered assisted. And what I did– – [Chase] Unassisted. – It’s called unassisted– – It’s called walking. What I did is called walking. – And the two of them
would probably look at that and be like, that’s called dumb. – [Chase] Totally it’s like
why would you not do that– – Why would you not do this. But it’s honestly in the truth of it, it’s just an apples to
oranges type of thing. They’re just, it’s like
the difference between rowing a boat or kayaking versus sailing. Both are awesome, they’re
just apples and oranges types of things. And so they with kites
have been able to cross even further distances of Antarctica. I was able to cross the
entire antarctic land mass, so from the edge of the
Ronne ice shelf you go to the South Pole to the beginning
of the Ross ice shelf, but in Antarctica, there’s
these frozen ice shelves which is basically frozen
ocean and then that extends to the water. And so I crossed the
entire mass of the actual, there’s land underneath, but
I stopped at the ice shelves. Whereas they, with the kites,
were able to do the crossing and go all the way beyond as well. Again, it’s super cool– – [Chase] My point for
raising this is all these definitions and the subtlety, A, it doesn’t take away
from the actual experience. And B, as you said, this
is individual creativity and if it’s apples to oranges,
someone’s using a kite and you’re using a sled and walking, to me there’s so much anxiety and I don’t wanna do this because
it’s already been done or you have your own
lens on all of the stuff that you’re doing and ultimately
it you’re not doing it for at least that reason. It can be that reason and other reasons, but if at least that reason,
then what are you doing? And to me, connecting with your book, that is such a powerful
and consistent lens that you seem to see the world with. – 100%, Jenna and I in all these projects, and you actually kind of the dream phase of how we think of these
projects and what we wanna do. And one of our core litmus
tests in doing that is we ask ourselves, if you could tell nobody about doing this, would
you still wanna do it? – Such a great lens. – And it’s like when you sit
in that, and you’re like, heck yeah I am personally
curious about the experience of being along for 54
days in this harsh place and the deep learning and the fear and the overcoming
obstacles of that journey. Like I wanna do this, or like do I wanna? Yes, I wanna climb the seven summits, cause I’m just always
read about those mountains when I was a kid. Even better if we can do that
and have impact and scale and share that story and inspiration and all the other things that come from what we actually do. But if you don’t have it in its essence, if you’re looking at it the other lens, which is like I would
never in a millions years wanna do X unless I was gonna get paid a gagillion dollars or
I get this accolade or get this famous or I get this oh New York Times Bestseller
next to your name. Or whatever these external success things. If that’s what you’re
doing it for, stop now. Just stop, and you said
it in a different way previous which I liked, which
is the exuberance or passion. Like when you, I’m sure in your life in Silicon Valley and all the things, you’ve sat with your entrepreneurs and you can just see the
difference when a guy’s just lit up about this widget or that widget and it does this and you’re fired up. Or versus, I came in here and I’m supposed to say the thing to the guy
and he could write me the check and you’re just like, there’s a difference in those two things. – Crystal clear. – And it leads to the actual execution because the guy who’s not passionate, he could even have a
better idea than the dude who’s, or I shouldn’t say dude, female, woman, whatever
who’s passionate about it and that passion is gonna override through those hard moments because
when it gets super hard, when I’m in the middle of Antarctica pulling a 375 pound
sled, and I’m all alone and I’m starting to get
frostbite on my cheeks. And with all the crazy
things that happened in this entire journey. If I was like, man I never
really want to do this anyways. That’s the moment I pull
out my satellite phone. I’m like yo, come pick me up. I kept grinding cause on a personal level, away from all of it, like I said we turned this
project into something that had two billion media impressions,
I had no idea of that. Jenna never told me any of that. The only person I had
contact with during it basically was Jenna, my wife, and that was safety medical
checks, emotional stability type of check ins, essentially. And it wasn’t like I was
like, hey are we crushing it on Instagram right now? – [Chase] It’s like, are you alive . – Do people think this is cool? That is not what’s going
on and that’s my point. If that’s the things that are driving you, it’s great when your
passion that you’re living lead to all of those
other things because then it’s a totality of, wow this is awesome and I can also support my
family, my life, my dreams and things like doing
these type of things. But if you’re doing it
the other way around, just to me, it’s probably gonna fall flat. – Yeah and you can feel it when it comes from the right authentic
place and when it doesn’t. You’re just around people and that is if you’re the average, there’s five people that you spend the most time with. To me, you can’t replace spending time around that real authentic energy. In whatever, whether
it’s the stock market, or adventure or anything in between. – Well you started off the
conversation by saying, hey, there’s a lot of parallels between adventure and entrepreneurship. And I would take it even one step further which is to say there
is a lot of parallels between people living their
passion and their truth in any vertical. Like, love, family,
creativity, entrepreneurship, adventure, art, whatever that is. You meet somebody who’s into their thing, you’re like damn.
– [Chase] It’s infectious. What ever it is, it could be like vintage cars. – Totally. But if someone’s like,
I’m like I’m listening. It’s not my thing, but like damn, I love being around people
like that personally. – Talk about your recent crossing. – Yeah so– – [Chase] This is bonkers. (laughs) – So, obviously, I’m always
kind of looking at different ways to create, different ways to stretch
different muscles, and we talked about mindset
at the top of this interview and to me I always day,
people are always asking me the sled was so heavy and this, sometimes people say when they meet me, they’re kind of surprised, they’re like, I’m not trying to say this the wrong way, but you’re a normal dude. They’re expecting– – Hulkamania. – Exactly and I’m like, okay and I’m not offended my that at all by the way. But one of the things that I often say is I think the most important
muscle that any one of us have is the six inches between our ears. That in the end is learning
how to flex and develop that muscle is so important. We talk about mindset,
but I wanted to take it one step further in my next project, now my last project, but my
next project after Antarctica which was just a month ago. I decided to see, with a
team of people this time, so rather than being
solo, exercise the muscle of a group dynamic, so
that’s a whole other interesting layer for sure. But also in a discipline
that I have never done ever before in my life. And so no one in history
has ever rowed a boat, rowed as in rowing like this. – [Chase] With an oar. – With an oar, no sail, no
motor, nothing like that but rowing a boat across Drake Passage. So from the southern tip of Antarctica, sorry from the southern
tip of South America at Cape Horn, across Drake
Passage, to Antarctica. It’s around 700 give or take miles journey and the Drake Passage
for the those unfamiliar with seafaring is know
to be the most dangerous ocean passage in the world. It’s a convergence of the
Southern Ocean, the Atlantic, and the Pacific, and commonly
30, 40, 50 foot swells, ice bergs, the ocean is
about one degree Celsius, so it’s basically practically
frozen cold water. You’ve got whales and
dolphins and penguins, all the kind of cool, but
interesting wildlife out there. Basically you’re battling
this crazy ocean. Now, I set this goal, with
this group of other people but the big caveat for me was I, up until about three months ago,
had never rowed a boat anywhere in my life. I wasn’t a collegiate rower,
which some of the other guys that are on the trip were. I’ve never even road a boat across a lake on a family vacation. I’ve never rode a boat anywhere ever. I’ve never been open water sailing. I’ve spent some time on
a few boats and things, but never on any sort of
long seafaring crossings. Certainly nothing I was captaining or being an active participant
in any capacity. And so the thought experiment with that is but what have a done in that, that seems so different. I’ve never done this thing before. But I’m like well actually,
what have a I done? I’ve pushed my body in
really intense ways. This is gonna require
rowing the boat constantly. So there was six of us on the boat, but three places to row. And so it was 90 minutes of rowing and 90 minutes of resting. Consistently the boat had
to move 24 hours a day, so we were never getting
more than 90 minutes of rest ever at an entire time. And the cabin is tiny. This is an open hulled boat. The boat itself is 29 feet
long, about four feet wide. You can check it out on my Instagram. We posted every single day from it. And we shared this story
live as we always try to do through satellites. Tiny like boat, I mean
it’d be like spending six dudes in this tiny
little space with us. Inside this cabin, I’m literally curled up in a fetal position, that’s rest time. And so, it’s full on,
but wait I’ve actually pushed my body hard for
long durations of time. I’ve done that in cold places. I’ve actually even done
that in Antarctica before. The only thing is, I haven’t
actually done it on the ocean. So it was a question for me, can I apply what I’ve learned in my
learning and then stack a new discipline or skill onto that. So rather than looking
at something and going, or rowing, that must
just be for the rowers. Cause how many times in our
own lives, in any discipline, have you gone and been
like, oh I’m not a X. – [Chase] So True. – I’m not a math person,
I’m not a creative, that’s just not my thing. But a growth mindset of course says, I might not be that right, I actually do not know how to row a boat. I know nothing about that, but I know how to train my body and I
know how to train my mind and you know what, I have
a pretty good Rolodex of great athletes around me. Surely one of them knows
some good rowing coaches and people who can train me
up for that and whatever. So I was like, let’s do this, and dove headfirst into the
training and the preparation and ultimately last month I
finished on Christmas Day, but with those six guys,
we were successfully the first people to row a
boat across Drake Passage. We did battle a lot of 30, 40 foot swells and insane moments and absolute craziness which was one thing that was cool was we filmed the entire
thing, through a partnership with the Discovery Channel
and the Discovery Channel’s gonna put out a feature length documentary about the whole row, we
call it the Impossible Row. It’ll come out this spring. But they also did these
little mini-episodes. You can check them out
online if you wanna see the entire journey, but it’s full on. We are battling the
ocean in an insane way. But it was amazing.
– [Chase] Crazy how powerful the emotion is when you start
to see that stuff firsthand and it’s bonkers. – And it’s also one of those
things where the curiosity of course in my mind
goes to outdoor places. But I was like, I’m still
continuing to climb mountains throughout my life. I love the mountains, the love the forest, I love the deserts, oceans. I’ve done a lot of surfing in my life, my dad lives in north shore of Kauai now. He’s an organic farmer over there. So I spent a lot of time
swimming in the ocean and stuff like that, but never have I been in the open ocean. Most of this planet is
actually open ocean. I wanna go check that out. And what better, I guess
better but I could think of better ways, but what
more interesting way to see it from this tiny little row boat that’s floating just a
few feet above the water, but it was a wild, wild adventure. But it was really cool and we talked about storytelling a little bit here. Once of my biggest
passions is still finding interesting ways to share
it even more visceral and more in really time. And with the partnership with Discovery, we were able to invest in
the satellite technology and it kind of had a
three part content stream around it which I thought was really cool which was literally through Instagram, every single day, I was able to post videos through the satellite which you know people are sitting around on Christmas dinner with their families and they turn on my
Instagram and here I am jammed in this rowboat,
there’s icebergs flying around, they’re like damn, I’m
glad I’m not out there. – Sitting here this turkey.
– [Colin] Exactly. And then they were able to chop that up into relative real
time, a few days delayed but put these five to
seven minutes little mini, what they call mid form episodes. So those went up relatively
live which was cool and they’re teasing on the channel. But then there’s also this two-hour feature length documentary that’s gonna go through their whole channel. So it’s kind of a cool, My heroes in exploration
have been the heroes of a century ago who went
out for two or three years, no one knew where they were
and they would return back with this crazy story and their journals and maybe a grainy image or two. But in today’s age, as much as I do see the negativity around social
media and things like that there’s been certainly some
times that mess with my brain and things like that. I can also see the
obviously beautiful power of being able to share stories at scale the way that we have been and so it’s been fun with my expeditions to embrace the moment in history or the timeline of the
world that we are in and say that technology
exists so let’s find more interesting ways
throughout it to use that to amplify and that
goes into the classrooms or the non-profit work that I do. It goes into people’s
homes and things like that. Again, with the same
explicit reason in that I wrote the book is not to be like, yo I’m the athlete in
the arena, check me out and do this crazy thing,
but through the lens of exposing people to whoa, oh my god, that is a penguin jumping by the boat. And that’s Antarctica and
wow maybe we should preserve these beautiful places in
the world that still exist and/or that dude never rowed a boat before and I’m complaining about I can’t run my local five K next month. Okay, maybe you know
what, maybe I can do that. – Speaking of heroes, I love
that you broached that topic. Who are some of your heroes
and what role did they play in where you are now. – That’s a good question. You know, obviously when my mind goes to there’s a couple of different buckets. There’s historic heroes,
like people who are no longer living or who
who I’ve read books about. There’s Ernest Shackleton
is a name if you’re in polar exploration or
even not that most people recognize from the history books. Certainly a hero of mine in
the pantheon of exploration. And then to me there’s
the people who truly touched my life on a personal level who are not famous people
or anything like that but I write about my first
grade teacher, Shannon Pinelle. I wrote about it in the book, just a short little
vignette, couple paragraphs, but a nod to, I was a rambunctious kid. I have five older sisters,
I’m the youngest in my family. A lot of energy. The only boy raised in my household. And this teacher, my first grade teacher, who I ultimately had
coincidentally first grade and then fourth, fifth and sixth grade. She moved up in the age of teaching at the same time I did coincidentally. I was bouncing off the walls. And we all know this story of
kid bouncing off the walls. That’s a kid that needs to be medicated, or that’s a troubled kid or
he’s bad because he’s this. And what she realized a super basic thing. She was like Colin just needs
to go run around outside. And so kids would have recess,
and the school fortunately had a little more leniency,
she would every so often, be like Colin go outside
with the assistant teacher, you’re gonna run around the
school yard for 15 minutes and then come back inside. And it was that simple
the difference between dictating my life towards Colin actually is really engaged in his school work after he runs around for 15 minutes. And there’s a million
examples of a teacher that didn’t take that or see that and be like, that’s a troubled kid, send
him to the principal’s office, I can’t do this, he’s
disturbing this or whatever. And she was able to find
a way to channel my energy and put it towards that. So when I look back on my life as the influential people or heroes. And then from a current
day answer to that, you mentioned you’re a soccer player, Megan Rapinoe, I mean– – [Chase] Amazing. – That’s a hero my mine right now. Never met her, don’t
know anything about her, never interacted with her ever, just from watching from afar. What a hero, what an absolute legend, – [Chase] Legend. – In the way that she carries
herself, for her message, her poise, her grace, her
determination as an athlete, just across the board. – How about historically
you mentioned Shackleton. Are there others that
are explorers that are from our current time, current space? – Yeah, we talked about – [Chase] Or do you get your
inspiration from elsewhere? – Yeah, no, totally. I mean we talked about a
couple of them already. Like Mike Horn and Borge, I don’t know either of those guys. There’s been people in
articles drawing comparisons between us and I even
kind of shy away from that because they came a
couple decades before me, when they were coming up,
but they’re still doing prolific things, but they’ve been doing it for a long period of time. Those are guys that when
I’m training for my project, read their historic accounts
and things that they’ve done. – Alex in Free Solo. – Yeah, what Alex Hall did in Free Solo. I think to me, Alex is
a really great example, what he did in the sport of
climbing is extraordinary, unquestionably, I mean it’s insane. – [Chase] Gangster. – But I actually think, in my opinion, and this is not just because I inhabit the outdoor community in some capacity. I actually think what he
did for human performance is actually one of the greatest of all great human achievements
just period, bar none. Forget the outdoors, forget
even sport, forget like, a true mastery of craft. And when you hear him talk
about memorizing all the moves and all the steps, to
me it’s like composing a concerto or a symphony, it’s a dance, it’s a mastery of your mind and body. It’s like a true full expression
of the human experience. So, what he’s done is extraordinary. And to me, and another modern example is Kipchoge breaking the
two hour marathon record earlier this year. That is the stuff that I love to see. And what I love to see about
a Honnold, or a Kipchoge is also their grace and their poise. It’s like I am doing this
and this is so awesome but I’m certain that if
somebody free solos El Cap, or free solos El Cap on a harder route, or somebody five years from
now runs a one fifty eight marathon, Alex Honnold’s
gonna be the first guy cheering on that other dude as well as Kipchoge’s
gonna be like heck yeah, I broke the two hours and now
this guy broke one fifty nine. The people that I’ve met at
the true top of their game or people that I’ve observed at the true top of their game like that, generally are not the
ones going, I did this, I’m the master of this domain. No one else can do this cause
I’m the guy who did the thing. They’re actually like, I
did this cause I was super and I cannot wait to see
what the next generation comes up with to push
this one step further. – Recent example, Kobe,
RIP just passed away this is last week, attending that week – LeBron beating his record.
– Exactly Heck yeah. – And yesterday, I’m spacing on her name, but a female soccer player,
athlete from Canada, just beat Abby Wambach’s all time, male or female internationals,
soccer scoring record. The first people to
comment are these greats. And that’s such a really,
really interesting it says so much more about
the character of the person rather than just they
were great at their sport. There’s this, a 360 degree
human almost as you put it. Part of that, first of all on
Alex’s achievement, I agree. And it seems to me that
there’s this resemblance, this 360 degree view of
life that you’re referencing in other people, but clearly
that you have this in you. And how is it that you envision
the next great adventure? Clearly there’s a 360 degree story, you’ve mentioned it several times. You talked about
non-profit, kids, awareness, media impressions, storytelling, it’s more complex than
I think one might gather on the surface. A, was it always that way and B, how do you think
about your next thing? So A, was it always that way and B, how do you think
about the next thing? – You know I think just
like in everything, I see the whispers of
it always being this way and I’m not like, oh my
God, how did I get here. We did this thing. We mapped it out and
envisioned it and also pivoted and changed and all the time, but with seeing the core
principles have been the same. That said, we’ve learned
a ton along the way. One great example of
that actually would be when we first started our non-profit, what we thought was, let’s raise money and when we raise money, let’s
give it to other non-profits who are doing space in this work. And this was the first
non-profit we partnered with was an organization that
was doing really great work with combating childhood obesity, which by the way is still something I’m really passionate about. Fighting the good fight for
raising funds for et cetera. But as we went through that phase and we had a really
ambitious fundraising target, we didn’t quite get there. We didn’t quite get there
with our fundraising target. But what we way over-indexed
for was awareness and impressions and the
impact of the storytelling. And the personal stories
that were then reflected back to us. We either read this about you or I saw this video content
and this changed this or this entire classroom had
this impact here or whatever. And that’s when we went, oh it’s not that we’re gonna be like oh
raising money is stupid. We’re like, oh our
impact with our skill set and what we’re doing is actually
a little bit better served if it’s redirected, reoriented
25 degrees this way, which is actually in the programmatic side of actually executing on
taking the storytelling and building STEM curriculum
around it and doing that. It’s a tiny little
micro-example of saying– – [Chase] It’s a great example. – Of saying, the why and
the purpose and the impact that we wanted to have is actually the through line’s been continuous, but the delivery of that
was, oh we learned something from step one to step two and
then from step two to step ten it’s been slightly refined over time. So we are different in
what we’re doing now than we were five years
ago, or I was ten years ago. – But that’s like iteration in the entrepreneurial mindset. – 100%. – Like you’re just experience
and most people I find they want to see the whole staircase before they take they
start to take one step. But I think what you’re saying here, if I’m misinterpreting tell me, but the journey continues to unfold as you’re walking and that’s probably no different than some of the things that have happened along
the way in your journeys. – One of the thing, and
certainly in the expeditions and I’ve spoken a lot about
Jenna because it’s truly her story as much as it is mine. She’s not just the support
role, cheerleader, like yeah go. She’s in the details, this is her – [Chase] Logistics
– Full time job, dialed, focused on all things, on
all the different parts of what we’re doing, the creativity of it, the business side of it. All this kind of stuff. But one of the things
she always says to me, and there’s a small little
vignette in the book when we’re talking about
back story of this, is she’s like, Colin,
basically you’re trying to push this domino down and so you have this domino effect of all these things cascading out. She goes, the one thing I can tell you is that the first domino is not gonna hit the next hundred and they’re
all gonna be perfectly aligned. She’s like, there’s
gonna be a domino effect but the one thing that I
can guarantee is our plan is not going to go to plan. That’s the one thing I’m sure of. And if you reframe your mind around that and an entrepreneurial sense or whatever, there’s a whole lot of power in that because A, you’re not
surprised when things don’t go your way. It’s not to not have the plan then. It’s not to like at least
try to map out the staircase, but to be like oh, it didn’t go exact way. We were ready for this and
we can adapt in that moment. And so much of the
success of these projects, the first moment that
I’m out there on the ice in Antarctica, I pick
up my sled to pull it and I can’t move it. I straight up actually
cannot pull a 375 pound sled on that day with the depth of the snow and all this kind of stuff. And I start crying. I start straight up crying. And the second chapter
of my book is called “Frozen Tears” because
when you cry and it’s minus 25 degrees outside,
it’s really pathetic, your tears actually freeze to your face. It’s the all time most
pathetic feeling ever. I told the whole world,
thousand mile journey across Antarctica, alone and this and whole other thing we’re probably
not even gonna talk about, we won’t talk about this whole other, there’s a guy end up racing
head to head out there. He’s disappearing on the
horizon and I’m like, (grunts) shit. – [Chase] It’s like a cartoon. – I can’t pull the sled. And so I pick up the phone,
I pick up my satellite phone and I call home to Jenna
and she’s wondering if she knows all the details. She knew that Jeff started
of course and she’s like, why are you calling me. And we had called our project
The Impossible First, right? And I was like, yeah babe,
I think we named our project the right thing. She’s like, what? And I’m like, it looks
like it’s impossible, I actually can’t pull my sled. But I have this introspective moment that I write about in
the book where I’m like, how pathetic is this, Colin
O’Brady announces to the world The Impossible, I thought I
could fail in this project. I actually didn’t plan for failing one hour into this project. I was like 30 days I might run out of food or I might break my leg or
something crazy might happen. My tent might blow away in
a storm, whatever that is. Hour one, day one, you’re like damn that’s really embarrassing. And what Jenna says to me– – Helicopter’s still flying away, like come back here please. – I’m actually completely
ill prepared for this. So Jenna says to me and
to me it’s something that I’ve stuck with me and
certainly applies very broadly, and she knows that I’ve
got my GPS which has these waypoints that mark, I’m
navigating with the compass but I’ve got these waypoints that I can direct my way through the route. And she goes, she knows the first waypoint is very near the drop off point. She said, Colin how far are you away from the very first waypoint? And I looked down at my GPS and I’m like, it’s point five four miles, as if it’s a million miles. She’s like, so you’re half a mile away from the first waypoint? She goes, forget about the thousand miles that you need to go. Forget about Lou Rudd
who was the other guy who was attempting to
cross at the same time. He’s disappeared off the horizon. Forget about Lou, yes he’s
more prepared than you. Yes, he clearly can pull
his sled and you can’t. Forget about that. Do me a favor. Make it to the first waypoint. Just get to the very first waypoint. You’ll at least feel like
today you did something, like you said the staircase, you at least stepped up the first, you can’t see the rest of the staircase? Fine, get to the first waypoint and then we will regroup. And so, sure enough, I somehow
managed to pull my sled another half a mile, setup my tent, get inside for the first night. And we get on the phone with Jenna and she’s already retooling the idea and she’s like we were
already cutting it close on your rations, but the
only way to reduce food is to basically reduce
your rations even more, which is taking more risk,
but we’re not giving up on this thing. And ultimately the net
product, two things happened one, she’s like you need to get rid of five more days of food which was 10 kilos or something like that,
20 pounds, 22 pounds. And I was living off of seven
thousand calories per day, but I was burning ten thousand. So every day I was already
on a 3.000 calorie deficit. And she’s asking me, now get rid of another five days worth of food. We’ll figure that out down the line, which does have some
consequences much later. I won’t give that part of the book away, but it does have a compounding effect. But in this moment, she’s like
if you can’t pull your sled, we can’t get to day two, so
we need to solve day one. And day one is, we need
20 pounds off that sled. You gotta leave five
days of rations behind and fortunately at that first waypoint, there’s other planes and
stuff that land in that area, so we could mark it so that
we’re not littering Antarctica and digging a hole, bury it
and they’re gonna get it. Further on, you actually
can’t just chuck stuff out of your sled anyways. This was the last moment
to make that decision. So we make that decision. And that’s a strategic moment. And then there’s also, we’ll
go back to the mindset, there’s also a mindset moment, which is I went out and I failed on day one, miserably fell flat on
my face, horrible moment, literally frozen tears on my face. And the next day, my alarm goes off, after my first night in Antarctica. I wake up, of course I’m
still completely alone. And I’m looking out to the
endless Antarctica abyss and the first thing that
floods through my mind, what happens? Fear, doubt, shame, all of
the things are coming back. Oh my god, is this is a bad dream? I couldn’t pull my sled yesterday. You moved the 20 pounds,
what if I can’t pull my sled. Just like da, da, da, da,
rabbit hole in your mind. And this is the moment where
I said, I get to choose. I am the story that I tell
myself in this moment. I get to control my brain and my thoughts and I’ve been a big fan of mantras throughout my entire life, but I’ve never said this
before, ever in my life. But I just sit up in my
tent and yell as loud as I possibly can, I go
Colin, you are strong, you are capable, you are strong, and I don’t really believe
the words that I’m saying, but I’m trying to override that negative feedback loop in my brain. Obviously I’m not gonna go
through all 54 days, but day two, I say the same thing the
first thing when I get up. Still don’t really believe it. Day five, Colin you are
strong, you are capable. By day 10, by day 20, my body’s exhausted, I’m starving, I’m losing weight, I’m starting to get frostbite
on my cheeks and my nose. Every day when that alarm went off, I know I gotta pull my
sled, 12 hours a day, five more hours of chores,
that’s a 17 hour day, I was never able to take a day off because if I took a day off,
I would run out of food, I would not complete this crossing, I would lose the race, all of the things. And so when I woke up
every single morning, alarm went off, ding. Colin, you are strong, you are capable. And setting the tone
for that emotional shift but going back to Jenna,
going we don’t know what day two, day three,
day four, day this. Get to the first waypoint,
make an adjustment, then we can think about day two. At the end of day two, we can start thinking about day three. And that’s how we built this. It wasn’t solving all 54 days at once, it was solving them one at a time and starting each one of those days with that positive surge in my mindset. – [Chase] Scariest moment
on one of the seven summits. – Mm, I have actually a good moment. That I’ve sort of talked
about at some point, but it’s a very long time since I’ve talked about this story. So, I’m at Mount Elbrus,
which is the tallest mountain in Russia, but the tallest
mountain in Europe. 18,500 foot mountain and I decided to climb this mountain in the winter. And I’m about halfway through
the project at this point, so four or so mountains
through the project and we’re flying over to
Russia, and actually looks like there’s a huge snow storm coming in. Just super, super brutal snow storm that’s coming in the next day. I didn’t climb any of the mountains with all the same people. I climbed a couple solo, but
I also had different people join me for different,
like I ha a buddy climb Denali with me, and someone
else climb Carstenz Pyramid. If that makes sense. And so I’m over in Russia
with a friend of mine, this woman she’s actually Russian. And we’re going over
there and we’re flying in. We’re like man we have to climb tonight or this mountain’s gonna be shut down. And she’s like okay, she
has some local contacts, but neither of us know the route and if it gets whited out,
it’s gonna be super sketchy. All the things are stacking
of how you make a mistake in the mountain. You’re fatigued, you don’t
really know the route, you’re rushing it, you
should probably wait a couple days, but the
weather’s so unstable. So you’re trying to thread this needle. So I was like, do you have any friends or any people in this town who, cause she’s from this area, who has climbed this
mountain a bunch of times who can just come with us, why not? She’s like yeah, I’ll call
up a friend of a friend. This guy shows up,
don’t remember his name. Guys shows up, Russian guy
doesn’t speak any English. Seems super friendly she speaks
Russian, they’re talking. Oh blah, blah I’ve been
up here a hundred times, no big deal, whatever. This’ll be great, it’s gonna be fine. Weather’s gonna crap out
tomorrow, we’re good. Great, start climbing. Start climbing in the middle of the night. Common practice in mountaineering,
alpine mountaineering, climb through the night cause
the conditions are better, before stuff starts melting, more stable. When we divide the gear as we’re leaving, he’s like I’ll take the
rope, okay you take this. Were dividing up the group gear. Also common practice, divide
the weight between us. And we’ve got skins on,
so we’re gonna skin uphill with skis, walking up hill. And we start going and the first part, it’s just this long sloping snow slope. It’s middle of the night, super windy, probably wind chill of minus
30, something like that. It’s brutally cold, it’s Russia in winter. and at high altitude. And we’re going and we’re going and I kind of get in my
own rhythm a little bit. I’m the first one going
and all this kind of stuff. I’m going up, going up, couple hours in, I look behind myself
and I see one head lamp. Probably a hundred yards behind. And I’m like where’s the other headlamp? That’s weird, so I keep going. Look back, so I stop. My friend, she comes up to me and she’s obviously been
in her own little zone, cruising along, she’s
a super strong climber. And I’m like, where is he? She’s like what? She looks behind herself. Nothing. No one there. And we’re like, that’s
– [Chase] He’s got a third of our gear too. – That’s super weird and
for the first second is, is he all right? But then we’re like, wait a second, we’re the two that don’t know the route. This guys been on here hundreds
of times and not only that, the terrain we were
just on isn’t dangerous. We weren’t on a place,
it’s actually like the top of a ski resort, the first half, is like part of the edge of a ski resort and then you finally get
up on to glacier terrain and all this kind of stuff. That is so weird, where did he go? And so it’s blowing, it’s windy. And we’re getting freezing standing there. The only way to stay warm
in conditions like this is the keep moving, so we
had this decision point. It was do we go back and
start looking for this guy, but then we both are like, nothing could’ve happened to him, it just doesn’t make sense, whatever. And I’m like he’s got our rope. Like he has our rope. – We are not doing this without that guy. – And so we look at each other, and it’s a risk calculation and honestly, it’s maybe not the smartest
decision I’ve ever made, but we’re going, okay I need to climb this mountain in winter. But this massive storm,
which by the way does blow in the next day and dumps a
hundred inches on the first day. It just shuts the mountain
down for a couple weeks. Climbing this mountain in winter, it can just be straight up shut down. It’s winter, massive storm
systems an come through. It’s not like oh it’ll
be good in two days. And if I don’t climb this,
it’s stacking against all these other things. I’m trying to go from mountain to mountain faster than anyone’s ever done. And that means that you
have to get up and down and not get delayed for
weeks at a time, basically. North Pole is next and Everest is next. It’s like it’s ratcheting
up the intensity of this. I’m like, I need to climb this today. There’s not a nah. But if we don’t keep moving
right now, it’s over. And not only is it over,
we’re gonna be in this Russian town for two weeks
and then miss the window on the next thing and the
next thing and the next thing. I’m like, do you wanna go with no rope? And so we make the call, to
actually climb without a rope, like I said is one of the
things where balancing risk– – Solo glacier travel. – So solo glacier travel,
we get to the part that’s consequential, and– – For those at home that don’t know you usually rope yourselves
together so if someone falls in a crevasse, the
other person can arrest so you don’t get stuck and, on glaciers. Side note, that’s why a rope is valuable. – Yes. And so that happens,
we get on the glacier, and sure enough on the glacier, unroped, I punch through a crevasse. Knee deep, one leg, but
it’s hanging in there and we’re in a crevasse
field, we’re unroped, and we are now making the
mistakes that you make before you really hurt yourself. – [Chase] Get into trouble. – Get into trouble. And I won’t tell the rest of the story, but you asked what’s the scariest moment. That’s the moment when you’re like, all of these things are compounding. I was exhausted, I was tired, we’re trying to thread the weather window. Probably shouldn’t have been
on the mountain anyways. Kind of knew it, so we
got this other person cause we figured that might help us, but it actually made it worse
because he took the rope. And it turns out, he just turned around and again I’m not trying to call him out, but my friend, she’s like a
five foot two Russian woman and she’s like a very
bad ass strong person, and I think it was one
thing for me to be going faster than him, but I think
what ultimately happened is that she was also
charging up the mountain and the ego was a little bit, and he was like oh my thing
broke and I had to turn around and we’re like, dude you don’t turn around when you’re carrying someones rope in the middle of the night on a mountain. If you’re gonna bail, fine, but yell ahead and be like, hey – I’m out.
– I’m out. So that was brutal. So that moment of being
up on this glacier, but you have to go up
or you have to go down. You are in the middle of a glacier and there’s no rope coming to you. So it was still this
moment of what do you do. And ultimately, we did
actually get off the glacier which we thought to a safer spot. And when we got to the safer spot, we felt more comfortable and
we’re like well up from here, strangely in that moment
was just as good as down and so we tagged the
summit and came back down. Obviously lived to tell the tale. It was one of those
moments where you look back and you’re like, I said to myself when I’m doing this
project, I’m not gonna take any extra risk that I
wouldn’t on a normal mountain. And the truth of that moment
and certainly learning, this is early on in
this expedition career, I made a really risky
call because I was pushing against this world record. And it’s not a call that I would recommend anyone else taking in this moment. Even now sitting here,
I guess I haven’t told this story in a really long time. That’s like, Russian winter mountaineering and you decide to walk around
on a glacier without a rope. That’s not a super good call and it was super scary obviously. – I think that’s, we all
have that in us all the time and it happens and we make
calls that we know we shouldn’t. And yet there’s something
in there that is powerful and right and that is our instinct. And reconciling those is, you do a great job of telling
these stories in the book. Last line of thinking
before we let you go. There are people out there
who want to do things and very, very consistent thing in the creator or the entrepreneur sphere, I’ll just say in the
human sphere, is fear. We’ve got this multimillion
year old organ in our brain and it’s not there to keep us happy. It’s job is not happiness. We have to program it on our
own accord for happiness. It’s default is a negative
bias for survival. And fear, if you just label it one thing, fear is the killer of dreams. And obviously reading your book is one way to help solve this and learn it. What on a daily, very, very basic level, can you advise somebody to
play through their fear. What can you tell them
on a regular daily basis? Cause you’ve spoken,
and coached and written so much about this topic,
give someone at home who is trying to play through
something right now, a tool. – So for me, and I said it before here, which is I think the strongest muscle, the most important muscle any of us has is this six inches between our ears. But I’m gonna go a step further than that which is to say, if said to you right now, talk about myself, you’re like, how did you pull a 375 sled, people go there pretty quickly. You don’t have to know a
lot about sports be like well I’m guessing you
lifted a bunch of weights at the gym and got a lot
stronger and got bigger and all this kind of stuff, which is 100%, that is exactly what I did. And so I’m going, you’re
talking about fear, so ultimately you’re
talking about something that’s happening within your
mind and how to control it. Well, do you wanna make
your mind stronger, you need to take your mind to the gym. It’s really obvious and
intuitive when you say that and people are like, wait, oh. There’s actually a practice that goes into making this stronger? Cause I think some, for whatever reason, in the physical body,
people think oh yeah, you gotta work out. You’re on the mental side, people are like wait, it’s exactly the same. You gotta take your mind to
the proverbial mental gym or tool as you call it. To leave someone with a tool, there’s a lot of ways to do that. I’ll speak to what’s worked for me because I think it’s been great for me. But it can be a lot of different things. Visualizations, or mantras, or meditation, or mindfulness, or breathing, there’s a lot of different
ways to access that awareness practice through yoga, whatever. For me, the biggest change
moment and this does come back to fear, but
it goes well beyond that which is just a mastery of mind or an awareness over mind. Cause ultimately there are fears, there are actual real fears. Like you said, our brain is programmed, like Saber Tooth Tiger
outside of the cave, get up and start running. There’s still real fears like that. We’re sitting here in Seattle
or you’re in California and the earth starts shaking. It’s like man, there might
be an earthquake happening. Let me find cover. Yeah that’s still, so fear
is good in that sense. But I think what you’re talking
about is fear of starting, fear of beginning your
idea, fear of taking a risk because your fear of failing. – [Chase] Judgment.
– Judgment. And then there’s even weirder one, which I’m sure you’ve seen in the world of Silicon Valley, which
is the fear of success. Once you’ve actually built on something and now you’re fearful
of actually being the guy who did the thing and, fear has this crazy bizarre cycle to it. How to master that, what I’ve found at least my practice in doing that has been through meditation. Are you familiar with 10-day, Silent Vipassana Meditation Retreat? – [Chase] My wife returns
today from one in Castle Rock. – I’m shaking your hand
because you’re a lucky man because– – She’s done two a year or
so for the last five years. This is one in the
Vipassana Tradition that is not too far from Portland, – [Colin] Amazing.
– Just outside. And she gets home today. I just talked to her like an hour ago. – Beautiful, beautiful. So those who don’t know
what that is, or whatever, – Thats for high fiving my
wife, like it’s me or something. – I’m also saying, you must
have a great relationship with your wife cause she is so– – Oh, I do, I know. And I take credit, I’m like
yeah, I’m the stay at home dad when you go on these big
adventures, like I got you. – So ten years ago I’m racing triathlons, so after winning that Chicago triathlon, I went and quit my finance job on a Monday and became a professional triathlete, which by the way is not the NBA or MLB, – [Chase] You’re making hundreds. – It’s like more of a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich, sleeping on your buddy’s
couch type of deal. But I’m at least doing that. And I wasn’t doing a job that
I wasn’t passionate about. And that’s where this is all started. Early on in my career, I’m racing, actually I’m in Washington. It was an international event, but it was outside of Seattle actually. And a friend of mine, he comes
to the race and he brings his wife and his wife’s this
Turkish woman named Etche and she comes up to me after
the race and she’s like I’m not really into sports,
it’s not really my thing. I came because I’m your friend, I’m married to your buddy basically, and she’s like but I can
see on everyone’s face that there’s a lot of intensity, she just says to me so what’s the practice for making your mind stronger? Obviously this is a physical expression, but ultimately it’s all up here. And it was this really
awkward moment for me. I felt like I was caught
with my pants down. I was like, yeah you know I
visualize stuff sometimes. And I was like, God– – What am I saying? – I was like I don’t have
an answer to this question. And it was funny cause like I said, an embarrassing moment
cause someone’s like wait, you’re a world class athlete, or you’re attempting to
be a world class athlete and you’re telling me you’re not actually training your mind in a real way? And I was like, humbly,
shit what do you suggest? And she was like, oh well
for me I would suggest these 10 day of a Vipassana retreat. And there’s different
forms of the ones I went to are 10 days, no reading,
not writing, no eye contact, complete solitude. Other than when you’re
meditating in a group hall, but no one’s talking to each other, no one’s looking at each other, et cetera. And they’re completely free to go. Anyone can go. There’s 270 centers or
something like that. All around the world, so
no matter where you are you’re probably within a few hours or one. She’s like just sign up for one and go. And me, you’ll probably take
this from this interview in some regard which is,
well I’ve never meditated a minute in my life but
I’m also a dive head first into the deep end, the
same guy that’s like I’ve never rowed a boat, let me row one across Drake Passage,
obviously is like all right. I’ve never meditated
for a minute in my life, 10 days of silence, completely
by myself, let’s go. Was it one of the absolutely
hardest experiences of my life, bar none for sure. Sitting there in the
stillness, I was always say in the quiet whether it’s in Antarctica whether I’m on a meditation pillow, it’s like throwing a party and all your angels
and demons are invited. The good stuff’s in
there, but like the dark, and the traumatic and that fear, exactly where this question
originated, that is in there. But that also sitting there
and the awareness practice of Vipassana which is ultimately
just observing your body for as it is, it’s like
as basic as basic gets, allows you to go oh, I’m
afraid right now, huh. You can take that
objectively and not let that – You look at the thought. – Exactly and not let that ratchet up, your fear response or the things that you wanna react to
and all this and ultimately so you’re not basically
living this life of just reaction to this
moment or that moment or fear or joy or craving or aversion or that and the other thing. And so I’ve gone back and
repeated those 10 days several times, try to get
every year, every other year, and than of course, what
that ultimately does is jump starts the actual daily practice which is the real work. Which is the consistency of doing that. So if I was giving
somebody a tool out there who’s listening, I would say
dhammaa.org, D-H-A-M-M-A.org. I don’t, this is a free thing,
I don’t get a referral code or anything. (laughs) – And just for 99 95. – There’s nothing like
that but I would say to me that has been the greatest
return on investment for me personally of
anything that I’ve ever done in my entire life by far and that is, definitely has
it made me a better athlete, definitely has it made
me a higher performer, could I have gone to
Antarctica for 54 days without training my
mind in a meaningful way for years and years
and years to get there? Absolutely not, but what it’s also done and I always joke about this. I went there to be better
athlete and sure maybe it did, but that’s like the 10th
most important thing it did. In general it made me more
empathetic, more connected, more vulnerable, a better
husband, a better son, a better friend, you
know all of those things. And those are just true lasting benefits that yes are gonna lead to maybe your entrepreneurial success or a
higher EQ and things like that but ultimately just
the general inner peace of happiness of having that which is a way of understanding those fears. Do I have fears? All the time. Sometimes people ask me, you
must not be scared of anything. I’m like, I’m scared all the time. But I can sit there in
that fear and be like, is this a real fear, is this an actual, is this an earthquake happening? Do I actually need to duck for cover? – Is there a Saber Tooth Tiger? – Or like oh, I’m a little
outside my comfort zone right now, but that’s all right. Remember every time you get
outside your comfort zone and you push through that, that’s actually where
you’ve learned the most. That’s where you grow the most. Okay, lean into that fear, embrace it. – One more time on that URL. – Dhamma.org D-H-A-M-M-A.org. Vipassana meditation,
there’s centers like I said all around the world. There’s one, the one that I go to, I’ve gone to several,
but the one near here is halfway between Seattle and Portland in Onalaska, Washington. And it’s a game changer for sure. Completely free, cost
you nothing but 10 days of our life which you’ll
definitely never regret. – Wow, the book is The Impossible First. Congratulations, lists. And more so just being
able to share your story with the world because a lot of people have done a lot of crazy stuff, but your ability to share
that and help other people tap into their ability, to find their own passion and dreams and pursue them is clearly what sets you apart. So thank you so much
for being on the show. – I appreciate it, thanks for having me. – And other coordinates if you want people to find you on the internet. What’s the best– – Yeah, the best I guess
is Instagram, social media @ColinOBrady on Instagram,
Twitter, all the things. Come say hello. Like I said, I love to share
all the expeditions there. Jenna has set her, she
looked at me and goes, last year she goes hey, my Mount Everest, my next Mount Everest is
actually to climb Mount Everest so Jenna and I will be
returning to Everest, me in support and service
of her reaching that goal. We’ll be coming from the
north side this spring. So if you want to follow that expedition, we’ll be kicking that off
here in a couple months. Out on Everest, I’ve never
been on the north side, but I climbed from the
Nepal side previously. But to watch her turn
her dream into a reality and that’s as someone who didn’t grow up identifying as a climber
or an athlete or whatever who has just been a part
of it and adventurous and has trained to actually reach that with that growth mindset of saying that. So @ColinOBrady on Instagram. My website, ColinOBrady.com
for all my speaking, booking, stuff like that. And go pick up the book,
I think you’ll enjoy it. – It’s incredible. Congratulations. Very, very, very, a quick
read and also super powerful for human potential, so thanks a lot for being on the show. Really appreciate it. – Thank you man.
– All right. Folks at home, again oh that’s my phone hitting the ground. Or nope, we’re breaking stuff. Have a great one. I’ll see you again tomorrow. (upbeat music)

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